A 63-old Fallon man who murdered his ex-wife was found dead Monday in Humboldt County by troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Larry Loran Small killed his former spouse, Kathy Small, with a single .22-caliber gunshot to the back of the head at the Churchill County Cemetery at about 3 p.m.
According to Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter, Larry Small fled in his truck north to Interstate 80 and was later found dead in Humboldt County by NHP troopers.
Trooper Jim Stewart said the NHP intercepted Small west of Winnemucca.
“He was headed eastbound on Interstate 80 near milemarker 168 when he saw us,” said the NHP spokesman. “He took the off-ramp, went onto the overpass and was heading toward Reno and Lovelock, going westbound. He stopped his vehicle. When we got there, we found him with a self-inflicted wound.”
Stewart said Small took his life within minutes of seeing the troopers.
“We tried to render first aid but couldn’t save him,” he added.
Trotter said Small called his sister after the shooting and told her what transpired. From there, Small’s sister relayed the information to authorities including Small’s movements north on U.S. Highway 95, the Lovelock Highway.
“I know that he called his sister and said he just shot his ex-wife in the back of the head and was going to kill himself,” Trotter said. “That’s how we were notified. Our assessment was she got into the vehicle on her own free will with him.”
CCSO was able to track Small just north of the Lovelock Correctional Center by pinging his phone from a cellphone tower. The information was communicated to NHP, who then found Small.
As for why the couple was at the cemetery, Trotter said the reason is not known. However, it did not appear Kathy Small was abducted, but a bottle of Black Velvet whiskey belonging to her was discovered at the scene, Trotter said.
“We’re not going to have all the answers because we can’t interview either of them,” Trotter said.
In addition, Trotter said no other vehicle was found at the scene although an employee at the cemetery heard the shot. Trotter, said, however, the CCSO will process Small’s vehicle today in Humboldt County.
Cemetery sexton Claude Parsley said he and one of the workers left the cemetery for a quick lunch break at Fox Peak about 15 minutes before the murder occurred.
When they returned, Parsley said he knew something was wrong when another cemetery worker was waving his arms frantically, trying to get his attention. Once Parsley drove down to where his assistant was, he learned of the news.
“This woman has been murdered,” said the worker, who Parsley declined to identify.
When Parsley was gone, the worker told him what he heard and saw. The worker heard at least two shots and as he drove toward the location of the shooting, the worker and Small met in opposite directions.
“As my worker drove past him crossing paths, he saw the driver and then the license plate in the rear view mirror. He went to the cemetery office and wrote down the number.”
Parsley said the worker then drove to the gravesite and found Kathy Small laying sideways with her body facing north. She was next to her in-laws’ gravesite.
“He walked up closer and saw the blood on the headstone. Then he called 911,” Parsley said.
According to the worker, only one vehicle — Small’s gold colored 2006 GMC extended cab pickup truck with a camper shell — was in the cemetery at the time of the shooting.
Once CCSO investigators arrived, Parsley said he was asked to close the cemetery’s entrance while they secured the crime scene and began their investigation. After the CCSO finished the investigation, Parsley said he washed the blood away from the site.
Trotter, meanwhile, said the couple had a volatile, on-again, off-again relationship.
Larry Small, though, had two active warrants out for his arrest including felony battery with a deadly weapon and one for misdemeanor battery.
“They were married at one point and had numerous restraining orders between them,” Totter said.
According to a previous LVN story in 2006, Small was convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, but was given a suspended prison sentence for the offense that occurred in November 2005 involving Kathy Small.
In the case, Larry Small held a gun to her head and also fired a shot from a .38-caliber revolver into the air outside the American Legion Hall on North Ada Street where bar patrons were nearby.
He also threatened Kathy Small the night before and fired a shot inside their residence. According to court records, the incident also involved another individual as one of the victims in the incident.
The next night, Larry Small went to confront his wife at the American Legion.
Small, though, violated the terms of his probation including a no-contact clause with Kathy Small and served more than one year in prison, according to the Tenth Judicial District Court and Nevada Department of Corrections.
According to the NDC website, he was granted parole on Sept. 24, 2009.
This is the first murder in Churchill County since 2012 when John Silvey shot and killed Michael Caudill. Silvey was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.
Linda Curtright of Fallon posted on Facebook and also called the Lahontan Valley News.
Curtright said she first met Larry Small six months after her husband died in August 2003.
“I met Larry the following February on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “Larry was fun and very sweet. We became friends for that.”
Curtright said she knows his friends and family well.
“They are all suffering,” she said.
The LVN reached out to a young man who knew Kathy Small and was visiting the cemetery Monday night to pay his respects. He did not return several calls.